Evaluation of the stability of small ruptured aneurysms with a small neck after embolization with Guglielmi detachable coils: correlation between coil packing ratio and coil compaction

Neurosurgery. 2005 Apr;56(4):785-92; discussion 785-92. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000156790.28794.ea.


Objective: Because it is difficult to predict the compaction of Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) after endovascular surgery for aneurysms, we studied the relationship between the coil packing ratio and compaction. Here, we propose a simple method for the preoperative estimation of coil compaction. Using follow-up angiograms, we studied the timing and degree of coil compaction in small terminal and side-wall aneurysms with narrow necks.

Methods: We studied 62 patients with acute ruptured intracranial aneurysms that were small (<10 mm), had a small neck (<4 mm), and were coil embolized with GDC-10s. The aneurysmal volume was calculated using the equation V = 4/3pi(a/2) x (b/2) x (c/2), where a, b, and c are the aneurysmal height, length, and width in millimeters, respectively. The coil volume was calculated using the equation V = pi(p/2)2 x l x 10, where p represents the GDC-10 coil diameter (0.25 mm) and l is the coil length. We recorded the maximum prospective coil length, L, as that corresponding with the volume of packed coils occupying 30% of the aneurysmal volume. Therefore, L was calculated as L (cm) = 0.3 x a x b x c, and the coil packing ratio was expressed as packed coil length/L x 100. Angiographic follow-up studies were generally performed at 3 months and 1 and 2 years after endovascular surgery. We considered coil compaction exceeding 2 mm as major compaction and recorded minor compaction when it was less than 2 mm of the empty reappeared space in the embolized aneurysm. Aneurysmal location was recorded as terminal or side wall.

Results: Of the 62 patients, 16 (25.8%) manifested angiographic coil compaction (10 minor and 6 major compactions); the mean coil packing ratio was 51.9 +/- 13.4%. The mean coil packing ratio in the other 46 patients was 80.5 +/- 20.2%, and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.01). In all 6 patients with major compaction, the mean packing ratio was less than 50% and all underwent re-embolization after a mean of 24.9 +/- 1.1 months. The 10 patients with minor compaction were conservatively treated, and the degree of compaction did not change during a mean period of 24 months. We detected 93.8% of the compactions within 12 months of coil placement. The aneurysm was of the terminal type in 5 of the 6 patients with major coil compaction.

Conclusion: In patients who underwent embolization with GDC-10s of aneurysms that were small and had a small neck, the optimal coil packing ratio could be identified with the formula 0.3 x a x b x c. The probability of coil compaction was significantly higher when the coil packing ratio was less than 50%. To detect coil compaction after embolization, follow-up angiograms must be examined regularly for at least 12 months. To detect major coil compaction in patients with terminal type aneurysms, angiographic follow-up should not be shorter than 24 months.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures